The Art of Life


Zygmunt Bauman - 2008
    In this society we are all expected, rightly or wrongly, to give our lives purpose and form by using our own skills and resources, even if we lack the tools and materials with which artists' studios need to be equipped for the artist's work to be conceived and executed. And we are praised or censured for the results - for what we have managed or failed to accomplish and for what we have achieved and lost. In our liquid modern society we are also taught to believe that the purpose of the art of life should be and can be happiness - though it's not clear what happiness is, the images of a happy state keep changing and the state of happiness remains most of the time something yet-to-be-reached. This new book by Zygmunt Bauman - one of the most original and influential social thinkers writing today - is not a book of designs for the art of life nor a 'how to' book: the construction of a design for life and the way it is pursued is and cannot but be an individual responsibility and individual accomplishment. It is instead a brilliant account of conditions under which our designs-for-life are chosen, of the constraints that might be imposed on their choice and of the interplay of design, accident and character that shape their implementation. Last but not least, it is a study of the ways in which our society - the liquid modern, individualized society of consumers - influences (but does not determine) the way we construct and narrate our life trajectories.

The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society


Pierre Dardot - 2009
    Neoliberalism is neither a return to classical liberalism nor the restoration of “pure” capitalism. To misinterpret neoliberalism is to fail to understand what is new about it: far from viewing the market as a natural given that limits state action, neoliberalism seeks to construct the market and make the firm a model for governments. Only once this is grasped will its opponents be able to meet the unprecedented political and intellectual challenge it poses.

Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy


Robert P. Murphy - 2002
    Robert Murphy deals with this head on, and makes the first full contribution to this literature in the new century. Working within a Rothbardian framework, he takes up the challenge of Hans Hoppe regarding the role of market insurance in property security to extend the analysis to the security of person.His applications are part empirical and part speculative, but unfailingly provocative, rigorous, and thoughtful. The title itself refers to the supposed chaos that results from eliminating the state, but Murphy shows that out of chaos grows an ordered liberty. Anyone interested in exploring the farthest reaches of anarchist theory must come to terms with Murphy's account.To search for Mises Institute titles, enter a keyword and LvMI (short for Ludwig von Mises Institute); e.g., Depression LvMI

Custom Reality and You


Peter Coffin - 2018
    The effects have manifested in our news, entertainment, and Google searches, we’re finding that a lot of things we thought were objective aren’t automatically so.Reality is not a concept we want to flush down the toilet with yesterday's food, though. However, we must begin to understand how it works in a world where profit is the driving force.

Contemporary Philosophy of Social Science


Brian Fay - 1991
    Distinct, engaging and timely 'multicultural' approach Clear, non-technical overview of the nature of social inquiry First volume of outstanding new Contemporary Philosophy series

الخوف من البرابرة: ما وراء صدام الحضارات


Tzvetan Todorov - 2009
    A growing immigrant population and worries about cultural and political assimilation—exacerbated by terrorist attacks in the United States, Europe, and around the world—have provoked reams of commentary from all parts of the political spectrum, a frustrating majority of it hyperbolic or even hysterical.In The Fear of Barbarians, the celebrated intellectual Tzvetan Todorov offers a corrective: a reasoned and often highly personal analysis of the problem, rooted in Enlightenment values yet open to the claims of cultural difference. Drawing on history, anthropology, and politics, and bringing to bear examples ranging from the murder of Theo van Gogh to the French ban on headscarves, Todorov argues that the West must overcome its fear of Islam if it is to avoid betraying the values it claims to protect. True freedom, Todorov explains, requires us to strike a delicate balance between protecting and imposing cultural values, acknowledging the primacy of the law, and yet strenuously protecting minority views that do not interfere with its aims. Adding force to Todorov's arguments is his own experience as a native of communist Bulgaria: his admiration of French civic identity—and Western freedom—is vigorous but non-nativist, an inclusive vision whose very flexibility is its core strength.The record of a penetrating mind grappling with a complicated, multifaceted problem, The Fear of Barbarians is a powerful, important book—a call, not to arms, but to thought.

Political Thinkers: From Socrates To The Present


David Boucher - 2003
    Carefully edited by two of the leading scholars in the field, the book features specially commissioned chapters by renowned scholars from around the world. It begins with an introduction by the editors that places the history of political thought in context for students. The book then provides a chronological overview of the canon of great political theorists--from Socrates and the Sophists to such contemporary thinkers as Habermas and Foucault. Contributors discuss the ideas and significance of each thinker and give a summary of the best contemporary scholarship in the area. Offering useful learning aids, including biographies, a discussion of key texts, and coverage of fundamental concepts, Political Thinkers is ideal for undergraduate courses in introductory political thought.

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy


Roger Scruton - 1996
    In this user-friendly book, he chooses to introduce philosophy by doing it. Taking the discipline beyond theory and intellectualism, he presents it in an empirical, accessible, and practical light. The result is not a history of the field but a vivid, energetic, and personal account to guide the reader making his or her own venture into philosophy. Addressing a range of subjects from freedom, God, reality, and morality, to sex, music, and history, Scruton argues philosophy's relevance not just to intellectual questions, but to contemporary life.

The Insanity of Normality: Toward Understanding Human Destructiveness


Arno Gruen - 1987
    To share in that subjugating power, we create a false self, an image of ourselves that springs from a powerful and deep-seated sense of fear. Gruen traces this pattern of adaptation and smoldering rebellion through a number of case studies, sociological phenomena - from Nazism to Reaganomics - and literary works. The insanity this attitude produces, unfortunately, goes widely unrecognized precisely because it has become the "realism" that modern society inculcates into its members. Gruen warns, however, that escape from this pattern lies not simply in rebellion, for the rebel remains emotionally tied to the object of his rebellion, but in the development of a personal autonomy. His elegant and far-reaching conclusion is that while autonomy is not easily attained, its absence proves catastrophic to both individual and society. "With compassion and conviction Dr. Gruen carefully exposes the undiagnosed and undisclosed insanity unwittingly accepted as normality... This is a text for leaders and followers, for conformists and rebels alike, for members of the healing professions who seek to repair the destructive fallout from our pursuit of normality and for all who strive for a more compassionate and saner social order." -Montague Ullman, M.D. DR. ARNO GRUEN was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States as a child in 1936. After completing his graduate studies in psychology at New York University, he trained in psychoanalysis under Theodor Reik. Dr. Gruen has held many teaching posts in this country, including seventeen years as professor of psychology at Rutgers University. Since 1979 he has lived and practiced in Switzerland. His groundbreaking first book, THE BETRAYAL OF THE SELF, was published by in 1988. THE INSANITY OF NORMALITY was first published in Germany by Kosel Verlag under the title Der Wahnsinn der Normalitat-Realismus als Krankheit: eine grundlegende Theorie zur menschlichen Destruktivitat. The book was first published in English in 1992.

Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations


Steven Best - 1991
    Best and Kellner provide:* An introduction and critique of the work of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Laclau and Mouffe, and Jameson, which assess the varying contributions and limitations of postmodern theory* A discussion of postmodern feminist theory and the politics of identity* A systematic study of the origin of the discourse of the postmodern in historical, sociological, cultural, and philosophical studies.The authors claim that while postmodern theory provides insights into contemporary developments, it lacks adequate methodological and political perspectives to provide a critical social theory and radical politics for the present age.

The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters


Slavoj Žižek - 1996
    Schelling’s Weltalter drafts belong to this same series, with their repeated attempt at the formulation of the ‘beginning of the world,’ of the passage from the pre-symbolic pulsation of the Real to the universe of logos.F.W.J. Schelling, the German idealist who for too long dwelled in the shadow of Kant and Hegel, was the first to formulate the post-idealist motifs of finitude, contingency and temporality. His unique work announces Marx’s critique of speculative idealism, as well as the properly Freudian notion of drive, of a blind compulsion to repeat which can never be sublated in the ideal medium of language.The Indivisible Remainder begins with a detailed examination of the two works in which Schelling’s speculative audacity reached its peak: his essay on human freedom and his drafts on the “Ages of the World.” After reconstituting their line of argumentation, Slavoj Žižek confronts Schelling with Hegel, and concludes by throwing a Schellingian light on some “related matters”: the consequences of the computerization of daily life for sexual experience; cynicism as today’s predominant form of ideology; the epistemological deadlocks of quantum physics.Although the book is packed with examples from politics and popular culture — the unmistakable token of Žižek’s style — from Speed and Groundhog Day to Forrest Gump, it signals a major shift towards a systematic concern with the basic questions of philosophy and the roots of the crisis of our late-capitalist universe, centred around the enigma of modern subjectivity.

The Revolution of Hope: Toward a Humanized Technology


Erich Fromm - 1968
    First published in 1968, the year of international-student confrontation and revolution, this classic challenges readers to choose which of two roads humankind ought to take: the one, leading to a completely mechanized society with the individual a helpless cog in a machine bent on mass destruction; or the second, being the path of humanism and hope.

50 Political Ideas You Really Need to Know


Ben Dupré - 2007
    Corruption, Spin and a suspect Political culture arouse public indignation, which is further aggravated by an array of Pressure groups and the far-from-disinterested attentions of the Mass media.In 50 Political Ideas You Really Need to Know, Ben Dupré clears away the murk that obscures key concepts that we ignore at our peril.

Dangerous Liaisons: The Marriages and Divorces of Marxism and Feminism


Cinzia Arruzza - 2010
    It shows time and again the controversial, often difficult relationship between feminism and Marxism. The theoretical questions discussed include the origins of women’s oppression, domestic labor, dual systems theory, performativity, and differentialism. Women’s oppression is a structural element of the division of labor and one of the direct factors through which capitalism not only reinforces its ideological domination but also organizes the exploitation and reproduction of labor. The integration of patriarchal relations and capitalism has led to their radical transformation—in the family, in terms of women’s place in production, in sexual relations, and with respect to sexual identity. Marxism needs to probe complex processes: ongoing transformations and crises, a global context creating an increasingly feminized workforce, and changing relations between men and women. The book maintains that it is a mistake to submerge gender into class or to believe that freedom from exploitation automatically brings about women’s liberation and the ending of sexual roles; it is equally wrong is to think the class question can be removed and gender made the main enemy.

Philosophy: History, Ideas, Theories, Who's Who, How to Think (EYEWITNESS COMPANION GUIDES)


Stephen Law - 2007
    Covering not only the history of Western thought, but also the traditions of Eastern philosophy and schools of thought from the Indian subcontinent, this companion combines philosophical analysis with historical and biographical information to explain and explore the major issues, theories, and problems at the heart of all philosophies.